The R.J. Enstrom Corporation, named after its initiator Rudy Enstrom,
was officially organised in 1959 in Menominee, Michigan. Their first
more thoroughly engineered helicopter design was the F-28. The two-seat
prototype of the F-28 was flown first on 12 November 1960, followed by
the first of two three-seat production prototypes on 26 May 1962.
Initial FAA certification was achieved for the F-28 model on 15 April 1965.
The Enstrom F-28 was built in limited quantities. A more powerful
version, the F-28A, was certified on 28 May 1968. This helicopter entered
full rate production, and over 300 helicopters of this model were
manufactured. After ownership of the company changed in January 1971, the
company name was changed into Enstrom Helicopter Corporation. A
collaboration between a Boston industrial design firm and the Enstrom
engineering team yielded a new aerodynamically styled airframe, the 280
Shark. This new model was certified on 13 September 1974 and immediately
put into production. Over the years a number of models were developed
and produced based on the body style of the 280. The single-engine Enstrom 280C was approved on 8 December 1975. This version
of the three-seat light utility helicopter has an upgraded engine, fitted with a turbocharger.
On 4 September 1980, the 1980-built Enstrom 280C Shark c/n 1189 was
registered SE-HKX in Sweden with Patria Helikopters AB,
Stockholm-Arlanda. On 10 May 1983, registration SE-HKX was cancelled as
exported to Germany. In Germany the Enstrom 280C was registered D-HGBX.
In 1985, registration D-HAAH was reserved for this Enstrom, but not
taken up. In July 1987, registration D-HGBX was cancelled and the
Enstrom was registered D-HAAR with Gerhard Niemann Maschinenfabrik,
Melle, Germany. In 2010,
Airbus Helicopters EC120 B D-HKDV
replaced Enstrom 280C D-HAAR in service with Wilhelm Niemann GmbH, Melle. Early 2011, the Enstrom 280C D-HAAR entered service with DL
Helicopter, Hamburg/Fuhlsbüttel. On 12 June 2018, Enstrom 280C Shark D-HAAR was severely damaged during an emergency landing in a meadow
near Berne in Lower Saxony, Germany. The helicopter had taken off from Ganderkesee for a check-flight: at a height of 600 m the engine
suddenly stopped through an unknown cause, after which the emergency landing was carried out. After the helicopter was put right on the
skids in the pasture it tipped through the hard landing and the tailboom broke off. Both passengers remained unharmed. On 6 August 1997,
the Enstrom 280C Shark D-HAAR was seen at Flugplatz Ganderkesee near Delmenhorst.